SHOP THIS LOOK:
I hope you (all) had a wonderful, love filled, Christmas! Mine was perfect- low key and intimate. Just what I needed too, considering Christmas Day is a sensitive day/holiday for me. I debated all day on Christmas, whether I should continue as if nothing was wrong and post the typical “Merry Christmas…” post OR share something so heavy on my heart during this time. As you can see, sharing something personal triumphed. One of my New Year resolutions/goals, for 2017, is to share more of my real life and I thought this would be a great start. So here I go!
In life, there are events that inevitably take place. Events that will forever alter your perspective on life, relationships, the superficial, and simple pleasures in life, like Holidays. For me the event of unexpectedly losing my father took place 10 years ago, on December 25th in 2006. It was the biggest shock of my life. Nothing could have prepared me for this type of pain and sense of despair, I was about to feel for the next 10 years. Needless to say, Christmas was never the same.
Getting through the holidays after losing a loved one is quite difficult, but to grieve the death of a loved one on the most important holiday of the year is paralyzing. For me, grieving the loss of my father on Christmas has been like living 2 lives. One is where I pretend everything is alright (for the sake of my daughter and family) and the other is where my heart silently screams in pain. Even though it’s been 10 years, it’s taken me just about that long to accept his absence. And even now, I still don’t know how to act, think or feel during this month. Something that I have learned in all this time is – mending is all about small steps. I want anyone whose lost a loved one and who is reading this to understand – coping TAKES TIME.
When I lost my father I didn’t know how to deal with this harrowing void. My attempt to bounce back as if nothing had happened, back fired on me and quickly. As I mentioned before it’s all about “taking small steps”, however for the sake of sharing my story I’d like to refer to these ‘steps’ more as stages. The initial stage previously mentioned was my stage of denial. You see the reality about pain is you can’t hide from it, you can distract yourself for a certain amount of time, but that will only last so long. However, dodging my reality was my only sense of normality at that time. Then, there was the stage where I refused to participate in Christmas celebrations. All the while questioning if I was over reacting. This was my temporary solution, until my daughter was born. As painful as it was to think that she or he would never have the chance to meet each other, I knew it was time to come to terms with how I was going to teach her about his loss, while also keeping Christmas alive for her. Slowly but surely, with the support of my amazing husband, daughter and family, I’ve begun to enjoy Christmas day through honoring and remembering my father. Even though Christmas won’t ever have the same sparkle, time and my family have made it sweet again and for that I am so grateful for.
Thank you so much for joining me here, for what I consider the next stage of my grieving process – sharing my story. It took me 4 days to write, rewrite and share this entry. I hope that if you’ve lost someone, it will provide you some comfort and support or if you know of someone who recently lost someone, it will provide you insight on how you can provide support.
If you’ve ever lost a loved one, whether in the past or just recently, just know that you are not alone in your time of pain. Understand that there’s no set expectation on how you should deal or cope with this loss. And finally know that you will heal and rebuild yourself again.
Here are a couple of ways I was able to find relief during my darkest times:
- Don’t be hard on yourself
- Keep yourself busy with enriching activities, and positive friends and family.
- Accept the support from your loved ones. (everyone needs support during these times, don’t deny yourself from this support)
- See a counselor.
- Don’t deny your feelings. If you need to cry. CRY. If you need to scream. SCREAM.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY – REMEMBER. Honor your loved one by keeping their memory alive in your mind and heart. Write down all of the wonderful memories you share with him/her and read them when you need to feel their comfort.